Importance of Keywords in Search Engine Optimisation
Recently a lot of Marketers have started focusing on Social Media as a channel for Marketing and getting qualified leads for their products. But “Search” still remains the top source to get leads and will continue to remain at the top for the near future.
If one talks about search, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably the next phrase. A lot of people think that SEO is writing article after article and being updated so that every time Google’s algorithm crawls their website, they’ll get higher rankings. This can’t be further from the truth.
For a website to rank well and be at the top, the basics of your SEO campaign should be strong. And the most important of them all are Keywords.
“ I’m not exaggerating when I say that without keywords, there’s no such thing as SEO. “
– Brian Dean, SEO Expert, Founder of Backlinko
Why are keywords important?
Keywords decide whether you’ll get traffic to your brand new website. If there isn’t much search traffic for the keywords you are raking for, then not a lot of people will come to your website. Let’s take a small example:
Say you have built a product for dogs and have a website and want to drive traffic to this website. You try to rank for the phrase “Tools for dogs”. What happens?
You wouldn’t get much traffic because of the lack of searches for this phrase. As you can see from the Image below, there are only 10 searches a month for this phrase.
But what if you tried to rank for “Dog products” instead? It’s a higher number of searches per month compared to “Tools for dogs”, but still not good enough.
How about “dog breeds”? Now this result has about 550,000 searches a month. This is a clearly better keyword to rank for compared to the others.
As you can see Keywords are very important and they determine how much traffic you can get for your website. But how does one figure out all the keywords for your website?
Every professional SEO expert starts out with Keyword Research. In simple terms, Keyword Research is basically creating a list of keywords that align with your brand or product and also that have high monthly searches. Now this is easier said than done because if you try to list down a bunch of keywords for your business, you can maximum, by yourself come up with 20 or 25 keywords. But this isn’t enough and it doesn’t give you a broader picture. Sometimes the keywords you come up with maybe relevant but not get enough searches on a monthly basis.
So how to do Keyword Research?
- Keyword research starts off with you listing the top ten keywords that are worthy according to you.
- When you put this set of Keywords in the Google Keyword Planner, the planner will suggest a bunch of similar keywords.
- You could also use a tool like SEMRush to give you an exhaustive list of keyword suggestions, broken down by alphabet and categories.
- List down all the ancillary searches in your Industry. An important example of this is, people who are searching for dog related products like “dog leashes”, “dog bones” will also most likely be searching for dog related information like “how to groom my dog”, “how to train my dog ”, “when should I take my dog to the vet” etc. These kinds of searches are also part of your ecosystem because it’s in your niche of business.
- You need to find out a list of long tail keywords and short keywords, also called body keywords. An example of a short keyword is “Dog leashes”. An example of a long-tail keyword is “dog leashes for a golden retriever”. It’s very important to rank well for both these type of keywords.
So we’ve learnt a bit about the Importance of Keywords and how to do Keyword Research. Now the next step is to figure out how to optimize your blog and website and also putting those keywords to use.
Also read: How to decrease bounce rate for a better SEO
Optimizing the blog or website
When beginners start off with a website or a blog, they either completely ignore the basic optimization rules or over optimize.
It’s the description of your page that is shown in search results. When I searched for dog breeds, you can see the keywords “dog breeds” in the Meta description. This isn’t mandatory, but it’ll help the users understand that your website has the relevant results.
These are tags for every individual page. For on-page optimization strategies for SEO in 2016, titles tags are considered very important. Every page has a title that can be optimized. Putting relevant keywords in every title tag will benefit you immensely.
Relevant and catchy images are known to reduce bounce rates on pages, so everyone should have a lot of relevant images on their sites. But a common mistake made by many is the lack of description in naming the image. If your image is described correctly with your keywords, the probability of it ranking well on Google is higher. In the “Alternate Text” section make sure you describe the image well.
First 100 words of your articles
Make sure, the first 100 words of your blog post have your keywords. When Google crawls your website and goes through your post, it’s algorithm quickly understands what your post is all about and ranks you well for those keywords.
High quality content with your keywords
Ultimately your keywords are as effective as your website. Your website needs to have
- Highly valuable content that is useful to your readers and that is shared.
- Your website needs to be engaging and keep the bounce rate low.
- Your content should have all the right social signals such as shares, likes on Social Media.
- You should have Authority sites back linking to your website, that builds you page authority.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is the technique where all the keywords you want to rank for are added unnecessarily to the article in a bid to get Google to rank you higher. This strategy gets you penalized. Make sure your keywords are evenly distributed and in a contextual manner.
Keywords are the most important aspect of SEO because they are the crux of your business. If you get a few words wrong, the whole composition of your business changes. It’s very important to know the right keywords for the right business as well as the search volume. If those two are taken care of, then on-page optimization and good quality content that is useful and shared will take you a long way in getting your website up there in Google search.
By Jon Ng